Establishing Their Own

The apostle’s earnest desire for the salvation of the Jews.

The Jews built on a false foundation, and refused to come to Christ for free salvation by faith, and numbers in every age do the same in various ways. The strictness of the law showed men their need of salvation by grace, through faith. And the ceremonies shadowed forth Christ as fulfilling the righteousness, and bearing the curse of the law. So that even under the law, all who were justified before God, obtained that blessing by faith, whereby they were made partakers of the perfect righteousness of the promised Redeemer. The law is not destroyed, nor the intention of the Lawgiver disappointed; but full satisfaction being made by the death of Christ for our breach of the law, the end is gained. That is, Christ has fulfilled the whole law, therefore whoever believeth in him, is counted just before God, as much as though he had fulfilled the whole law himself. Sinners never could go on in vain fancies of their own righteousness, if they knew the justice of God as a Governor, or his righteousness as a Saviour. (Ro 10:5-11)

The difference between the righteousness of the law, and the righteousness of faith.

The self-condemned sinner need not perplex himself how this righteousness may be found. When we speak of looking upon Christ, and receiving, and feeding upon him, it is not Christ in heaven, nor Christ in the deep, that we mean; but Christ in the promise, Christ offered in the word. Justification by faith in Christ is a plain doctrine. It is brought before the mind and heart of every one, thus leaving him without excuse for unbelief. If a man confessed faith in Jesus, as the Lord and Saviour of lost sinners, and really believed in his heart that God had raised him from the dead, thus showing that he had accepted the atonement, he should be saved by the righteousness of Christ, imputed to him through faith. But no faith is justifying which is not powerful in sanctifying the heart, and regulating all its affections by the love of Christ. We must devote and give up to God our souls and our bodies: our souls in believing with the heart, and our bodies in confessing with the mouth. The believer shall never have cause to repent his confident trust in the Lord Jesus. Of such faith no sinner shall be ashamed before God; and he ought to glory in it before men. (Ro 10:12-17)

About this commentary:
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible is available in the Public Domain.

Romans 10 ESV

1Brothers,[a] my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. 2For I bear them witness that(A) they have a zeal for God,(B) but not according to knowledge. 3For, being ignorant of(C) the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. 4For(D) Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.[b]

5For(E) Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that(F) the person who does the commandments shall live by them. 6But(G) the righteousness based on faith says,(H) “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?'” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7or “‘Who will descend into the(I) abyss?'” (that is,(J) to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say?(K) “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because, if(L) you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and(M) believe in your heart(N) that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11For the Scripture says,(O) “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12(P) For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;(Q) for the same Lord is Lord of all,(R) bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13For(S) “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him(T) of whom they have never heard?[c] And how are they to hear(U) without someone preaching? 15And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,(V) “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16But(W) they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says,(X) “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17So(Y) faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

(Z) “Their voice has gone out(AA) to all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”

19But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

(AB) “I will(AC) make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
with a(AD) foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

(AE) “I have been found by those who did not seek me;
I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21But of Israel he says,(AF) “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

A lot of times we cry out to God and then show Him all the work that we have done in His name.  And we cry out “How Lord have you forsaken us?”  We stand in disbelief of the calamity that has surrounded us.  We don’t understand why things happen and we are to proud to even consider that we may have be out of  God’s will.  And we say but God didn’t I do this and didn’t I do that; didn’t I go to seminary and didn’t I get a degree in Theology.  But we refuse to see that we did all of it for ourselves because we do not want to be held to God’s standards so we establish our own righteousness.  That’s why we love legalism,  cause we can always change the rules which we make to appear of a righteous bases.  It is our self righteousness that destroys what God desires, a community of believers.   The self righteous will never love Jesus Christ but they will listen to sermons about Him if it will get them in heaven and blessing on earth.

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